Today you are beginning a journey that will impact every area of your life. Together we will read through four books in forty days: the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.   Each of these men were simply inspired to express in words what their encounter with Jesus Christ meant to them and those around them. You will soon recognize that the style and viewpoint of each writer is quite different. If you and three friends took a trip together and each of you kept a journal, your stories would emphasize different aspects of what you experienced. In the same way, only by reading all four accounts of Jesus’ life do we get the big picture of what the life of Jesus Christ was really like. Matthew wrote from a Jewish perspective, while Luke saw Him from a medical physician’s viewpoint. Mark was younger and writes from a fast-paced, “motion picture” angle; and John wrote in a beautiful poetic style. As you read through these four books, you will experience the person of Christ more personally and powerfully than ever before.

Matthew was a Jewish tax collector who became one of Jesus’ disciples. Even though his opening chapter, the listing of Christ’s genealogy, seems to us a boring way to begin, it was quite effective for his Jewish readers. For the Jewish audience, nothing could be more gripping than discovering that Jesus was a direct descendant of Abraham, the father of the Jews, and a descendant of David as well. This fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy about the lineage of the Messiah. Nearly seven hundred years earlier, Isaiah had written, “The virgin shall be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.”   (Isaiah 7:14b) Immanuel means, “God with us.”   Amazing! God had come in human form to physically be with us.

Most of us have one of two problems with reading the Bible. Some of us haven’t read it much and just don’t know the great comfort, peace and promises it offers. If you’re in this group, that’s okay. You’re about to discover what’s always been missing in your life! Far more dangerous, though, are those of us who have heard the stories of the Bible so often that they sound ho-hum, everyday or even expected.

Do you realize what we just read? The God who created us chose a poor, unwed teenager to become the mother of His Son. Why? Because He is Immanuel – God with us. He wants to be with you, involved in every minute of your life. He loves you that much!


Bible Reading: Matthew 1:1-25 (NIV)

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Bible Reading: Matthew 2:1-23 (NIV)

The Magi Visit the Messiah

2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to Egypt

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.



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  1. Pastor Joseph Kangbaye, Jr. says:

    God Bless you Pastor Kerry & Chris, for sending us those Forty Days Journey with Jesus. It it very inspiring and will be taught in our Sunday School and Evangelism Outreach Mission.

    Thanks: God bless WOODLANDS CHURCH.
    We also await for your approval in Liberia, West Africa.

  2. Elizabeth P Velasco says:

    I am so excited in doing the 40 day with our church
    To see what God has in store for me and my family
    I am a single mom with 3 daughters my husband left me going on 4 years now

  3. I can’t wait to start the 40 day challenge. I’ve been looking for a way to get closer to the Lord and I think I just found it! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.

  4. And so it begins! I am so excited to begin this 40 day journey! It could not have come at a better time for me… What a blessing it is to be a child of THE KING OF KINGS and a member of Fellowship of The Woodlands!

  5. Thank you for sending me this material. I’m new to using email correspondence, except close friends & immediate family. I don’t know what HTML means?

  6. Connie Shaddy says:

    Thank you….I already am getting the 40 days….YEA! Enjoyed today’s…can’t wait for tomorrow’s. Thank you and God bless.

  7. Thank you Chris for this 40 Day Journey! I’m excited to take part. I’m one of those who never read the bible. I always kept my head down during Sunday school classes growing up, hopeful never to be called on because I did not understand the verses being discussed and never had answers to the questions being asked.

  8. Chris,
    Thank you for making this devotional available. I was doing the Jesus Calling devotional for about a year and a half. And then me and my husband started the Love Dare devotional on January 1st but I was still feeling like I needed something more for my “quiet time” with Jesus. This is perfect. Thank you for being obedient to what God has called you to.

    Judy Petty

  9. Thank you so very much Chris for all you do. This idea is a wonderful way to start out the new year keeping our eyes on Jesus. God Bless!

    Regina Templeman

  10. Thank you for offering this 40 day Journey. I am looking forward to reading this for the next 40 days. Have a Blessed day.

  11. Thank you for this chance to renew my faith, I struggle with sin everyday and thank you and your family for being so open and caring
    God bless

  12. There has never been a better time than the present to learn about the bible. I am very excited!
    Everyone, come on this journey with me!

  13. I am trusting in faith in reading words from the bible so I can feed the spirit of Christlike thought in my everyday life.
    I am searching for faith that I can feel inside my heart. I have felt this while going to the church of the woodlands

  14. Taylor Justice says:

    I am looking forward to enriching my faith and growing closer to God during this series. I want to be the woman he has called me to be and be a stronger witness to his love and faithfulness to all those around me. I am excited to take this journey and learn more about the word.

  15. Leigh Alanna Todd says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for this!!! Between work and school it has been very difficult to dedicate time to the Word like I need to. Hopefully this helps my relationship with Jesus grown and gives me some piece in my very busy schedule!

  16. It is a joy that our God is strong and with us. He sees Christians persecuted around the world today and will not forget.

  17. Robert and Helen Thomas says:

    The first day of our Journey with Jesus was a awesome and touching moment. We just wanted to keep reading.

  18. pastor. Joshua India says:

    wow i am so happy and touched my heart about 40 days Journey with Jesus and also 1st day Bible reading. I will follow in my church thank you many of them will get great blessings through this way. thank you May God bless you..pray for us and here church and people. Pastor Joshua India

  19. Thank you for allowing me to go on this journey with you all I am very excited to learn more about christ.

  20. So encouraged by the new journey we are embarking on. Excited to read His word every day and see the life of Jesus from 4 perspectives. Thank you Pastor Kerry and Chris for leading with enthusiasm and most of all love!

  21. I’m excited to take this journey with Jesus. Thanks for this opportunity. While reading what Jesus meant to these men it will help me become more aware of what He means to me. My heart is open to you Lord.

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